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Middlesex County College president receives Phi Theta Kappa award

Dr. Joann La Perla-Morales
Middlesex County College

The spring semester ended on a high note for Middlesex County College (MCC) president, Joann La Perla-Morales when she was awarded the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year colleges.

Twelve other community college presidents and one provost also received the honor, which was awarded in Orlando, Florida at Phi Theta Kappa’s 96th annual convention in April. According to the Phi Theta Kappa website, the award is given in memory of Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest serving Board of Directors Chair and President Emeritus of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. Dr. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984.

Dr. La Perla-Morales, who received a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York College at Oneonta and master’s and doctorate degrees from Columbia University, began her tenure at MCC in 2005. Previously, she had held administrative posts at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, and at Bloomfield College, Union County College, and Montclair State University, all in New Jersey.

In 2012, Dr. La Perla-Morales received the 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.

Phi Theta Kappa is recognized as the official honor society for community colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges. Its website states it began with six charter members under the name of Kappa Phi Omicron at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1910. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is associated with community colleges in nine sovereign nations: including the United States, Canada, Germany, British Virgin Islands, and the United Arab Emirates. For a timeline of PTK achievements, click here.

MCC, founded in 1964, serves the educational needs of over 12,000 New Jersey and New York students on three campuses. Currently students representing over 60 countries are enrolled at MCC. The college offers 71 degree and 29 certificate programs. More information about MCC can be found on its website.